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companion and towed her out of range. The fight—one of the fiercest and most desperately contested naval engagements yet witnessed on the Western Waters—Was Over. “Throughout the action the Albatross fought with most unflinching gallantry, and her officers and crew deserve well of their country. She had seven men killed and wounded at her guns—three killed and four wounded, as near as I can ascertain. The Grand Duke and Mary T., according to the statement of two deserters, had sixty persons killed and wounded on the two boats.” The Hartford and the Albatross remained above Port Hudson until the surrender of that place, having, in the mean time, taken part in the bombardment of the batteries, during the unsuccessful attempts of General Banks to carry the enemy's works by assault. On the 11th of July, the two steamers arrived at New Orleans, where, after their adventurous cruise and long absence, they were received with acclamation. Admiral Farragut, after aiding in completing the victory at Port Hudson, by clearing the banks of the Mississippi at Donaldsonville and elsewhere, of the lingering enemy, returned to the North, where he met a triumphant reception. The capture of Wicksburg and Port
Hudson was the greatest blow yet inflicted upon the enemy. The occupation of the Mississippi River being thus secured by the Union forces, the region of the insurgents was divided into two parts, and their armies on the east of the river severed from the great sources of supply–Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas—on the west. The success of the Northern arms on the Mississippi caused great exultation at the North and proportionate dejection at the South, while the nations of Europe became more impressed with the power and vigor of the United States, and less consident of the means of resistance of its enemies. The enemy, notwithstanding the capture of their strongholds at Wicksburg and Port Hudson, and the consequent loss of the command of the Mississippi, strove by every effort to obstruct its navigation. The tortuous course of the great river, its length, and the formation of its banks, whose alternate marshes, cane-brakes, and bluffs offered ready means of offence and shelter, were favorable for skulking guerrilla parties, who continued to infest the Mississippi and seriously impede the passage of vessels. The Union fleet was constantly on the alert, but notwithstanding its vigilance, many lives and much property were destroyed.
CHA PTER IV.
General Rosecrans, after the Battle of Stone River.—His Advance Checked.—Delay in establishing a Basis of Opera tions and securing Communications—Rosecrans prepared to Advance.—Rosecrans' Movements in Middle Tennessee.—His Report.—The Operations of the Enemy's Cavalry and Detached Parties.—The Enterprise of General Van Dorn.—His Attack on Franklin.-His Repulse.—General Morgan on the Move.—His Rout at Snow Hill.–Success of Union Cavalry.—Woodward Recaptured.—Wheeler's Raids.-Destruction of Railroad.—Raid on the River.— Gun-boats Destroyed.— McMinnville Surprised by the Unionists.-Mrs. General John Morgan a Prisoner. —Escape
of the General.-Unionists Capture Tuscumbia and Spring Hill.—The Success of Union Cavalry.—Death of Wan.
Dorn.—Streight's Expedition.—Streight overtaken by Forrest, and forced to Surrender.
AFTER the battle of Stone River and 1863, the occupation of Murfreesboro’, General Rosecrans found it impracticable to advance through Tennessee immediately. The necessity of securing his communications, constantly threatened by an enterprising cavalry, and the strong positions easily assumed by the enemy in a region of mountain and forest, with rare spaces of settlement and culture, prevented a rapid campaign. He was obliged first to establish and secure a dépôt of supplies, and to organize an adequate cavalry force to protect his line of communica
tion and take advantage of the enemy
should they retreat or be beaten. “The dépôt was established and in a defensible condition,” reported Rosecrans, “by the 1st of May, but,” he added, “the inferior numbers of our cavalry and the scarcity of long forage wore out our cavalry horses faster than we could replace them, and it was not before the 15th of June that we had brought what we had into available condition.”
Finally prepared, General Rosecrans commenced a series of operations which resulted in driving the rebels out of Middle Tennessee. “Their main base of supplies,” says the General in his report, dated Winchester, Tennessee, July 24, 1863, “was at Chattanooga, but a vastly superior cavalry force had enabled them to command all the resources of the Duck River Valley and the country southward. Tullahoma, a large intrenched camp situated on the ‘ barrens,’ at the intersection of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad with the McMinnville branch, was their main dépôt. Its front was covered by the defiles of Duck River, a deep, narrow stream with but few fords or bridges, and a rough, rocky range of hills, which divides the ‘barrens' from the lower level of Middle Tennessee.
“Bragg's main army occupied a strong position north of Duck River, the infantry extending from Shelbyville to Wartrace, and their cavalry on their right to McMinnsville, and on their left to Columbia and Spring Hill, where Forrest was concentrated, and threatening Franklin. “The position of Bragg's infantry was covered by a range of high, rough, rocky hills, the principal routes passing southward from Murfreesboro' toward Tullahoma and the line of the enemy's communications. “1. By McMinnville it is seventy-five miles to Tullahoma. Its length precludes it, while the intermediate by-roads between that and Manchester were so difficult as to be regarded as unsuited for the movement of an army; and “2. The Manchester pike passing these hills through Hoover's Gap, and ascending to the ‘barrens' through a long, difficult canon called Matt's Hollow. “3. The Wartrace road through Liberty Gap, which passes into the one along the railroad by Bellbuckle Gap. “4. The Shelbyville turnpike running through Guy's Gap. “5. The Middleton dirt road. “6. The road by Versailles, into the Shelbyville and Triune roads, both of which avoid passes and have few defiles. “The enemy held all these passes, and his main position in front of Shelbyville was strengthened by a redan line extending from Horse Mountain on the east to Duck River on the west, covered by a line of abattis. “Polk's corps was at Shelbyville. Hardee's headquarters was at Wartrace, and his troops held Hoover's, Liberty, and Bellbuckle gaps. Polk's corps was generally estimated by intelligent rebels
and Union men at about 18,000, infantry and artillery; Hardee's at 12,000, infantry and artillery—making a total of 30,000 of these arms, and probably 8,000 effective cavalry.” After describing the position of the enemy, General Rosecrans thus narrates his own movements and their result: “Positive information from various sources concurred to show the enemy intended to fight us in his intrenchments at Shelbyville, should we advance by that route, and that he would be in good position to retreat if beaten, and so retard our pursuit through the narrow winding roads from that place which lead up to the ‘barrens,’ and thus inflict severe loss without danger to their own line of retreat to the mountains toward their base. I was determined to render useless their intrenchments, and, if possible, secure their line of retreat by turning their right and moving on the railroad bridge across Elk River. This would compel a battle on our own ground, or drive them on a disadvantageous line of retreat. To accomplish this it was necessary to make Bragg believe we could advance on him by the Shelbyville route, and to keep up the impression until, if possible, we had reached Manchester with the main body of the army, as this point must be reached over a single practicable road passing through Hoover's Gap, a narrow way three miles in length, between high hills, and then through Matt's Hollow, a gorge two miles long, with scarce room anywhere for wagons to pass each
other. These passes were occupied by the enemy, but eight miles from Hardee's headquarters, nor more than sixteen miles from their left at Shelbyville. “The plan was, therefore, to move General Granger's command to Triune, and thus create the impression of our intention to advance on them by the Shelbyville and Triune pikes, while cavalry movements and an infantry advance toward Woodbury would seem to be feints designed by us to deceive Bragg and conceal our supposed real designs on their left, where the topography and the roads presented comparatively slight obstacles and assorded great facilities for moving in force. “Events proved that this had the desired effect; and accordingly Bragg called forward Buckner and all the spare troops at his command from East Tennessee and the lines of the railroads, the last of them arriving on the very evening they began their retreat from their position in front of Duck River. The operations which followed these successful preliminaries were as follows: “On the 23d of June, Major-General Granger, under orders, sent General Mitchell, with his cavalry division, on the Eagleville and Shelbyville pike, to make a furious attack on the enemy's cavalry and drive in their infantry guards on their main line, while General Granger, with his own troops and Brannan's division, moved, with ten days' rations, to Salem, sending his sick and baggage to the camps at Murfreesboro’. On the same day Palmer's division and a brigade of cavalry were ordered to
move, via Cripple Creek and Ready
ville, to the vicinity of Bradyville; his advance to seize the head of the defile leading-up to the ‘barrens' by an obscure road leading them to Manchester by Lumley's Station. All the other' troops were ordered to be in readiness to march with twelve days' rations of bread, coffee, sugar, and salt; six days' meat on hoof, and six days’ pork or bacon. General Mitchell accomplished his work after a sharp and gallant fight. General Granger arrived and took position at Salem in pursuance of orders. “The corps commanders met at headquarters in the evening, when the plan of the movement was explained to them, and each received written orders for his part, as follows: “Major-General McCook's corps was to advance on the Shelbyville road, turn to the left, move two divisions by Millersburg, and, advancing on the Wartrace road, seize and hold Liberty Gap. The third division was to advance on Fosterville and cover the crossing of General Granger's command from the Middleton road, and then move by Christiana to join the rest of the corps. “General G. Granger was to advance on the Middleton road, threatening that place, and cover the passing of General Brannan's division of the fourteenth corps, which was to pass by Christiana and bivouac with the rear division of the twentieth corps. “The fourteenth corps, Major-General Thomas, was to advance on the Manchester pike, seize and hold with its advance, if practicable, Hoover's Gap, and bivouac so as to command and
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cover that and the Millersburg road, so that McCook and himself could be within supporting distance of each other. “Major-General Crittenden was to leave Van Cleve's division of the twentyfirst army corps at Murfreesboro’, concentrate at Bradysville with the other two, and await orders. “The cavalry, one brigade under General Turchin, was sent with the twenty-first army corps to look out toward McMinnville. All the remainder, under Major-General Stanley, were to meet General Mitchell coming in from Versailles, and attack the rebel cavalry at Middleton. “The headquarters of the army was to be established at Mrs. McGill's, at Big Spring Branch. “All these movements were executed with commendable promptness and success, in the midst of a continuous and drenching rain, which so softened the ground on all the dirt roads as to render them next to impassable. “General McCook's taking of Liberty Gap was very gallant and creditable to
the troops of Johnson's division, Wil
lich's brigade leading, supported by Carlin's brigade of Davis' division on the right. “General Reynolds had the advance in the fourteenth corps, Wilder's mounted brigade leading. He surprised and carried Hoover's Gap, a defile three miles in length, before the main infantry support of the rebels (two brigades) could come up ; and when they did arrive, fought them and held the posi
tion until the remainder of Reynolds' division arrived. The enemy kept at artillery distance from them, and left us to hold the bridge across the Garrison fork and the debouch of the Fairfield road. “As it was not yet certain whether the enemy would advance to test our strength on McCook's front or mass on the flank of the fourteenth corps, near Fairfield, the orders for June 25th were as follows: “Major-General Crittenden to advance to Lannon's Stand, six miles east of Beech Grove, and open communication with General Thomas. “General Thomas to attack the rebels on the flank of his advance position at the forks of the road and drive the rebels toward Fairfield. “General McCook to feign an advance as if in force on the Wartrace road by the Liberty Gap passes. “General Stanley with his cavalry to occupy their attention at Fosterville, and General Granger to support him with his infantry at Christiana. “Should Thomas succeed, and find the enemy retreating toward Wartrace, he was to cover that road with a division and move with the remainder of his troops rapidly on Manchester. McCook to move in and, taking his place at Beech Grove, hold Liberty Gap with a division, and finally withdraw that and follow General Thomas to Manchester. The incessant rain delayed the arrival of General Brannan to join the fourteenth corps, on the Manchester pike, but everything was finally in position,